Envisioning your dream garden cabin can be exciting, yet the selection process might appear daunting. Fear not!
Let’s tackle this as if we were casually chatting about your weekend plans. Here’s your friendly, step-by-step guide to picking out the right garden cabin.
Step One: Define Your Cabin’s Purpose
Ask yourself, “Why do I need a garden cabin?” If it’s just to store your lawnmower and garden tools, you probably don’t need a grand structure.
However, if you’re dreaming about a cabin to host summer events, offer guest accommodation, or transform into a home office, you might want to invest a bit more.
Always consider the input of all family members and determine the ideal size to accommodate hobbies and other activities.
Remember, this garden house is an investment set to serve you for years.
Step Two: Understand Wall Thickness
Wall thicknesses for garden houses commonly range from 1-1/8” (28 mm) to 2-3/4” (70 mm). The thinner 1-1/8” (28 mm) walls work fine for small garden sheds up to 100 sq.ft, as they’re cost-effective and robust.
However, for cabins meant for more frequent use, between 100 and 250 sq.ft, the ideal thicknesses are 1-3/8” (34mm) or 1-3/4” (44mm). These thicker walls are stronger and more resistant to temperature fluctuations, especially if you’re planning to use the cabin year-round or add insulation.
Step Three: Single or Double Pane Window?
Planning a seasonal use cabin? Go for thinner walls and single-pane doors and windows. They’re cheaper, and installing double-pane windows in thinner-wall cabins might be an unnecessary expense.
However, for an all-year-round cabin, double-pane windows are a must. Typically, single-glazed windows are available in cabins up to 1-3/4” (44 mm) wall thickness. For thicknesses beyond this, double-pane windows are the standard.
Step Four: Thinking of Insulation?
For all-year-round use, go for a cabin with at least a 1-3/4” (44 mm) wall thickness and double-pane doors and windows. You might also want to insulate the roof and floor, where a substantial amount of heat can escape or cold can enter.
An electric radiator or blower could be helpful during cooler periods. Wall insulation could be considered but could add complexity and costs. Use your cabin for a bit first, and then decide if you need it.
Step Five: Check for Building Permits
Once you have your dream cabin in mind, you may need to secure a building permit. Rules vary, so reach out to your local building department for information on codes and foundation requirements.
Make sure your chosen cabin complies with local guidelines before purchase.
Step Six: Choose the Right Foundation
The cabin can be installed on almost any surface, but the right foundation is critical. It ensures stability and the proper functioning of doors and windows.
Popular foundations include a crushed stone pad with concrete blocks and pressure-treated lumber, a concrete pier with a standard deck frame, or a concrete slab.
The right foundation type depends on your cabin size, the surface of your property, and the cabin’s purpose.
Step Seven: Installation
Are you planning to DIY the installation, or hire a professional? A smaller cabin can be assembled in just a few days. And you don’t have to be a seasoned constructor to get it right – most of our customers handle it just fine!
But if you’re short on time or skills, hiring a local handyman or contractor could be a good choice. Each kit comes with specific building instructions. And remember, you or your contractor can always reach out to us for assistance.
Hope this guide helps you make your garden cabin dreams come true!
Happy cabin hunting!